Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Everyday Life...Today

For Today, Tuesday September 22nd, 2009...
Outside my window... gloomy clouds...but a beautiful sunset fills the sky.

I am thinking... that my ways are not God's ways and His thougths are not my thoughts, though I'd like a peek at what He's thinking and planning :)

I am thankful for... my family, who is constant, loves me unconditionally, and enjoys the times we have together.

I am wearing... my pajamas which I donned when I got home from work. No soccer practice, no meetings, no dinner guests...a rare evening.

I am reading... Me, Myself and Lies-A Thought Closet Makeover (Bible Study material), Lincoln's Ladies, a biography of the life of Abraham Lincoln from the perspective of the women he encountered throughout his life...wow, what human could bear such grief?

I am hoping... for more of Him and less of me in the current difficulties.

I am creating... a plan in my head...but that may be as far as it gets...

I am praying...for my friend Mary Ellen....everyday...that her husband would return home, and that God would continue to be her Strength and Portion.

Around the house... love the new plug-in scent...dishwasher is running...school bags are packed by the front door, ready for a new day tomorrow...listening to "Biggest Loser".

From the kitchen...leftover lasgna from our time with Hayden, Heather, and Dorian this weekend...a stocked refrigerator thanks to my husband who doesn't mind grocery shopping...and a stash of chocolate :)

One of my favorite things... watching John play soccer... Lizzie 'dance to her own drum'...and Mark smile over the everyday things of life.

A few plans for the rest of the week...tomorrow's writing seminar at BCC, Children's Ministry meeting, soccer practice, staff development presentation on Friday, Saturday soccer tournament, and some needed family time.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Along the journey...

We just returned today from a much needed time away. Our time away has refocused and renewed each of us, as well as reminded us of who we are and who God is. Our vacation took us through seven states and reunited us with many friends and family members. We were able to visit Wonderworks in TN, the Creation Museum in KY, the Pratt family in P, Mark's parents in Troy, Pa (as well as the Troy Fair) and were blessed to spend special time with many treasured friends in the Corning area. We worshipped and learned together at Victory's FamJam. We spent an afternoon in the ER after Lizzie fell off a zipline at her cousins' house.

In spite of all the busyness, God met with us and showed us his faithfulness while renewing our strength. Mark and I were able to escape for a day when we kayaked down through Corning/Big Flats. It was a perfect day to share together, sunshine after rain. We rowed, we floated, we contemplated, we talked, we observed, we reflected. Mark shared how our journey this last year has been so much like our kayak trip...full of unexpected turns, rocks, wildlife, rapids, and still, quiet, moments. The river moves along whether we submit to its direction or not. The journey was so much more enjoyable as we listened, observed, and surrendered to the way of the river. How often I have 'fought' the current of the Spirit and missed the beauty along the way. I wanted to see/do what I thought I needed and often missed what beautiful things HE had planned. John Eldredge (Walking with God) tells of a hike he had planned in order to hunt elk. He was so intent on finding the elk, that he missed the other 'blessings' in his hike: the sounds of the stream, the rainbow trout, the perfect sunset, the time with his family. He was so focused on HIS goal, that he missed the miracles/blessings happening all along the way.

What am I so focused on? What am I missing? What is God trying to show me? How can I listen and observe better?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Psalm 86

"Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am devoted to you.
You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call on you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, for to you O Lord do I lift up my soul.
You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call upon you.
Hear my prayer, O Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord;
they will bring glory to your Name.
For you are great and do marvelous deeds; your alone are God.

Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths of the grace.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Don't you just love time away from the routine? It's a perfect time to reflect, to renew my mind, and to focus on what is good. Last week we were able to enjoy a week at Lake Norman with the extended family. My cousin Alison got married on Saturday...a perfect day...a beautiful ceremony...lots of good memories made.

As I was reflecting on our time, I was reminded of all the amazing blessings in my life.
  • My husband is such a example to me. Mark is my best friend, my stability, my hero. He spurs me on to be better, to live deeper, to be me. His life has been turned upside down through this whole journey, but he is peace-filled and optimistic about what lies ahead. I am in awe of how he lives each day...fully and completely present.

  • John, my 9 year old little man, models his daddy everyday. I love watching him mature and change. He is responsible, caring, and fun; patient with his sister, meticulous with his school work, and passionate about sports, particularly football. I am proud of him and humbled to be his mother.

  • Elizabeth...hmmm...love. That's what she is. Hugs, kisses, words, surprises, and smiles. She is not afraid to share her feelings or to express them to anyone. She teaches me to let go, to be carefree, and to enjoy the moment. Everyday she makes me smile. Her 7 year old perspective on life is worth considering...and living.

  • Our week at Lake Norman was spent partly with my parents and my siblings and their families. I am amazed that despite how different we are, we really do enjoy spending time together: laughing, shopping, playing games, creating, being. My nieces and nephews are positive influences; they are polite and fun. We all enjoyed our week...without an ounce of tension.

  • I am blessed with friends who speak truth and who do the journey with me. Though I desperately miss my girls from Bible study, I was reminded that God is doing something NEW. I continue to pray for friendships and opportunities do 'dig deep' with others.

  • My greatest blessing is the grace God extends to me everyday. His mercies are new every morning. His faithfulness never ends. He never gives up on me. He wants MORE for me...more than I can even imagine for myself. He is patient. He loves me...despite all my flaws and weaknesses.

I have so much to be thankful for, so as I practice my "one word" WAIT, I choose to focus on the good things in my life instead of things I don't have or want to have NOW. It's a matter of perpective, isn't it? So take a few minutes, renew your mind. I'm sure you'll be reminded of all the blessings in your life too.